Closet Storage Solutions
Storage can be a tricky situation in homes or apartments that have little or no closet space. There are solutions, though. With planning, a little creativity — and the right know-how — you can add storage space to your rooms without cluttering or otherwise dampening your décor.
Just stop by your local True Value hardware store for the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right on the project that will give your closet more storage space.
Armoires and Wardrobes
Short of finding a way to knock down a section of wall to build your own closet, purchasing an armoire or wardrobe can be a quick fix to your closet storage problems. An armoire or wardrobe can be one of the best ways to create clothes-hanging space that is out of view. In fact, these furniture pieces were once how most people stored their clothes and other belongings back when closets were scarce. Armoires and wardrobes are usually large pieces of furniture with two doors on the front that hide away items and open up to provide easy access to hanging items. Usually a rod is inside for hanging clothes, and often shelving and drawers are inside and below the main doors to store shoes, jewelry and folded clothes. Because of size, they can take up a bit of floor space. Check that a large piece of furniture will work in your room. Armoires and wardrobes come in many different styles, from ornate and antique to sleek and modern. Do some research and keep in mind the feel you want for the room when choosing the right piece.
- For even more additional storage space in your room, add a matching dresser that matches the armoire, where space allows.
- To make extra room, get rid of items you no longer need. If you haven't worn a piece of clothing in the last year, consider donating it.
Adding a clothes rack to your room for hanging clothes is a quick and easy solution. These can hold a significant amount of clothing and are very portable. They can be set up in a specific part of the room or be moved to match your room’s design when necessary.
- Wheeled racks allow for portability, even when clothes are left hanging on them.
- Put clothes that are currently in season on the rack for quick access. Store non-seasonal items away.
- Color code clothes for a neater more modern appearance.
If you don’t like the look of a rack of clothes sitting exposed in your room, you can conceal it by hanging fashionable draperies around it that match your décor or obscuring it with an attractive wardrobe screen.
Other closet storage solutions using clothes racks include hanging a long rod across a wall in conjunction with a wall shelf. Support the bar with the supplied end brackets and use support brackets at equal intervals along the wall. Measure the wall and mark the studs with a pencil. This is so you know where to install the brackets. By anchoring the brackets to the studs, you’ll end up with a more secure installation. Remember — clothes can become heavy when a lot of them are hanging on a rod. Using a bar/shelf combo gives you shelving for sweaters or other items and also hanging space for other clothing items. Shoes can be neatly placed underneath the hanging clothes. For shelving installation tips, see the next section.
Installing shelves can also be a great way to fix your room’s closet storage problems. When planned out and installed correctly, adding shelving is a convenient way of making space and contributing to the room’s décor. Shelving can hold shoes, sweaters, accessories and storage boxes. You can store items that you don’t regularly use or just want to put away by placing them in decorative storage containers and then stacking them on the shelves. Try to choose storage options that fit the feel of the space and try to match the color scheme in the room for the best looking results.
- Combine shelved items with decorative touches, such as vases or picture frames, to work your storage solutions into the overall look of the room.
When installing shelves, location is a personal preference. However, make sure that you don’t put them where they will have contact with opening doors or any other area that might be problematic. Begin installation by buying the shelving you want, keeping in mind the look of your room. For example, if you have dark wood trim in your room, shelving would look best in that same color. You can also buy unfinished lumber and stain them yourself. Do this before installation, though.
Measure the wall where you will be installing the shelves using a tape measure. Determine how long you need your shelves to be and take note of the measurements. Use a pencil to mark the ends of the shelves on the wall. Use a level so that your marks will be aligned. Take into account where your wall studs are. Position your shelving so that its support hardware can be installed into the wall studs for security. Locate the studs using a stud finder and mark their location with a pencil.
Cut the wood with a circular saw to fit the measurements you took. Sand the shelves and sides with fine-grit sandpaper. If you need to add finish to the wood, do it now.
- Always wear safety glasses when working with a saw and follow all other safety precautions for the equipment you’re using.
Attach support hardware to wall studs using 1" screws and a drill. Use the marks you made earlier on the wall as guides. Put the shelf on the brackets as directed by the manufacturer. Ensure the brackets are securely in place before use.
- You can complement shelving by adding hooks to your walls for coats, scarves, bags and other items on the back of doors. You can also get creative and hang items under shelves or create chic-looking tiered systems of hooks that can turn items you hang into easy wall decoration.
You can cut down on clutter by separating clothing by season and storing those not currently needed. These garments and other items can be placed in plastic storage containers and stowed away under your bed, in the garage or basement. When seasons change, swap them out again. In addition, many storage containers are stackable and can be placed in a corner and used as a tabletop. There are countless color and style options that can be worked into your décor.
- Place stackable storage containers on or under shelving, and under clothing racks for a crisp, integrated appearance.
When storing clothes and other items under your bed, get flat plastic storage bins. These are available with or without wheels. Be sure to measure how much space you have under the bed first, though. Because these are easy to move, under-bed storage bins allow easy access to stored goods. Use each one for different items and label them appropriately. Storing shoes under your bed can free up a lot of space and cut down on clutter around the room, too.
Another under-bed storage option is vacuum-sealed garment bags. Clothes and other items can be placed in the bags until they are full and then the air inside the bag is removed by the vacuum, giving you more storage without taking up more space.
Turn a Room into a Closet
Lastly, another closet storage solution could be using an entire room for a closet. If you’re lucky you may have an unoccupied small room that you don’t use much or one whose space can be reappropriated as a “walk-in” closet. You can use any or all of the tips above in your new walk-in. In fact, you can go even further since the space will be a closet solely. You can add numerous hanging bars, chests, shoe racks and any number of shelving system configurations. You can also build a custom closet organizer using the tips in the project Build Closet Organizers.
- Place a chest or two chests together in the middle of the room for a convenient island. It can be used to store items and keep them handy when dressing or folding clothes.
- Add a bench or similar utilitarian sitting option for when putting on shoes.
- Bring in a full-length mirror, either free-standing or wall mounted.
- Install track lighting or other lighting options to bolster the amount of light in your closet for good visibility when choosing what to wear.
- Organize clothes by style, color or in a similar way.
That’s it! Closets? Who needs closets? You don’t, now that you know how to create the storage solutions you need. For the rest of your home improvement projects, visit your local True Value hardware store for the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.
For more project ideas, visit the Project Library >